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Hyderabad; A new airport

November 9, 2008

| Image by photos by Uli Loskot

I get to Hyderabad in the afternoon. It’s sticky, stinky, smoky, hot and very crowded. There are loads of completely covered Muslim ladies in black wandering the streets.
Karthik is helpful and tries to find me the bus to the just recently opened new airport, which lies around 30km outside the city. We hurry from one bus station to another until we see the bus. I run to catch it and barely survive in the traffic. The bus does not stop for me. So I end up taking a motor rickshaw. We spend almost an hour on the new highway to the new airport, being passed out by cars and trucks. I feel like I am sitting in a nutshell in the big open ocean with huge cargo ships around me. Approaching the airport I notice hundreds of people on the ramp to the departure hall and wonder where they are all going. The airport itself appears so surreal, like somebody took a brand new airport from the USA and dropped it here in India in the middle of nowhere in a barren desert landscape. It does not seem to fit. My rickshaw driver drops me off near the mob of people and I make my way up to the arrival hall by foot. I soon realize that all these people here did not come to get a flight. They came from nearby villages to admire the new airport and the planes, which to them must seem like a spaceship. As soon as they realize me their attentions shifts and I am soon surrounded by a large group of people taking photos of me.
Inside the airport I am suddenly in a different world. Personnel in yellow western looking uniforms are cleaning and polishing the floors in an air conditioned, cold, shiny new environment, and overpriced food is offered in several fast food stands. A cup of chai in here costs 110 Rupees, versus 3 Rupees on the street. So the tea I am slurping out of a styrofoam cup costs a quarter of what the nineteen hour train ride from Trivandrum to here was.

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